How to be an Artist: Business, Marketing, Purpose. | Red Hong Yi | Skillshare

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How to be an Artist: Business, Marketing, Purpose.

teacher avatar Red Hong Yi

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Should I Get into Art Full Time?


    • 3.

      Make Art. Work, Work, Work.


    • 4.

      How to Market Your Art


    • 5.

      Selling and Pricing Art


    • 6.

      Working with People


    • 7.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

Want to work as an artist but don't know where to start or what to expect? In this video, artist Red Hong Yi brings you through lessons she has learned working as a full-time artist for seven years. She will share tips, advice and personal suggestions on everything from marketing your art, branding yourself as an artist, managing and working with people, and how to go through the ups and downs of making art for a living.


Red Hong Yi is a Chinese-Malaysian contemporary artist who makes work expressing her heritage and Chinese diasporic consciousness. Known as “the artist who paints without a paintbrush”, she creates mixed media installations by reinterpreting everyday materials through the accumulation of objects. By combining traditional craftsmanship and digital technology, she creates work that consider perceptual habits and preconceptions on the chosen objects and subjects, expressing the themes of women and race.

Red studied at the University of Melbourne. Her work has been exhibited at H Queens in Hong Kong, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, World Economic Forum in Davos and Anchorage Museum in Alaska. Collectors of her work include JP Morgan Chase Bank and actor Jackie Chan. Her art has been featured on publications including Wall Street Journal, TIME, and New York Times. Sotheby’s Institute has named her one of the “11 art world entrepreneurs you should know”. Tatler Magazine has named her one of Asia’s most influential voices in 2020.

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Red Hong Yi


Red Hong Yi is a contemporary artist who makes work expressing her Chinese-Malaysian heritage, culture and gender. Known as “the artist who paints without a paintbrush”, she creates mixed media installations by reinterpreting everyday materials through the accumulation of objects. By combining traditional craftsmanship and digital technology, she creates work that consider perceptual habits and preconceptions on the chosen objects and subjects, expressing the themes of women and race.

Her work has been exhibited at H Queens in Hong Kong, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, World Economic Forum in Davos and Anchorage Museum in Alaska. Collectors of her work include JP Morgan Chase Bank and actor Jackie Chan. Her art has been featured on publications including W... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Introduction: Hello dear read from the past seven years ago. This is future Rid seven years later And I thought I'd talk to you today because you're about to go into art full time and you have no idea what's coming at you As much as you love Ott. There's so much to learn about the business of odd. And I thought I record this and tell you what I've learned in the past. Today's video is for you, dear listener. Now it doesn't matter What have you been an awful couple years or if you're just totally new to it And you want to learn the ropes around how to run a new art business, how to go into full time? I thought I just create this video, just guide you and show you how I worked on being an artist full time. There's no straight path to it. There are no rules. Teoh Ott This is what I've lent Sore fall, and I hope you enjoy what I have to share with you. When I started working full time as an artist, I had no idea what I was doing. Prior to that, I was working as an architect full time in Shanghai, and I worked on art really on the side. So after six PM, after work at stay on in the office, just tinkering around and during weekends to and how I started doing what I do was I just loved going to markets during the weekends. And I guess in China, like objects and materials and supplies, just comes in abundance. It's like Ali Baba. In real life you go to market and this samples of products, and you can just order, say, 20,000 chopsticks in the shade of I don't know, like babies like like some light bamboo page bamboo and get it delivered to your house in two outs, for example. So I think that excess of materials just drew me in and I started to experiment. And it wasn't until I started documenting my work in photos and videos and put it up online on social media. And then I started to get a following, and it grew from just 100. A couple of 100 people Teoh thousands people and then now, um, a little bit more than that, and I think it was easier to get my work to spread around because of that following, I started to get clients contacting me from around the world, which is pretty cool, and and they were like, can get Teoh work on a project with us. And that was surreal because that was the first time ever that I was approached to create to make art and be able Teoh get paid for that. That was a dream, but I really have no idea what was going on. So in this video, I'm going to talk about how I started really from not knowing anything I had. No, I guess I didn't know any any full time artists at the time, so I really had to learn the ropes. And it's been a steep learning code. But it's being one that's full of mistakes but super exciting. And I'm just grateful. Well, where am today? And I hope you enjoy this lesson 2. Should I Get into Art Full Time?: okay, Should you get into art full time? I always loved odd. I think growing up are always dreamed of becoming an artist. But it was always, like a flaw, fetched dream like, Oh, I'm gonna be in the n b a woman's MBA one day and then I stopped growing. So it's It's always been one of those things that I never thought could have happened to me but eventually landed on my life. But I think when a lot of people, when a lot of people hear my story, they go, Oh, it's kind of like an overnight thing, but it really wasn't, um I guess I'll talk a little bit of my background, but I get a lot of people coming up to me going, you know? Oh, this is my passion. I love. What should I jump into the full time? My advice is no, I I had I made sure that I had projects coming in and I had at least six months of savings before actually going in. And, um, that's probably because of my personality to I think I get worried and anxious quite a bit . If you're not like that, if you have a big appetite for risk. And if you have security nets, it's OK. So a little bit of how I started was, as I mentioned before, I was working full time as an architect in Shanghai, so I was getting a salary. I was pretty happy just working on building designs, and I did it on the side and and I started to think around with materials. The first piece I did was a piece of I weigh ways portrait made of sunflower seeds. I just It really started with me wanting to communicate what was going on inching high, too. My friends outside of China, in Australia and in Malaysia and and I took photos of it and put it up on Facebook and got a couple of likes. And that was it. And the second time I did something like that was was when I did a portrait of helming with a basketball. I dipped a basketball in rip paint and started to dribble it around, and one of my good friends, Joel, took a, took a video of it and put it online, and I told him, Oh, maybe make it a time lapse video on dumb so everyone can see the process of how it was made . He put it up. I think it was like a two. A three minute video you can still find on YouTube. And it got circulated around a little bit more than my previous, um, previous artwork and And one day I think, about two weeks off I uploaded it. I think it was Gizmodo dot com featured it, and I suddenly had, like, half a 1,000,000 views, and it just kept on going up every time I refreshed it. But this is like in 22,012. I think so. I guess views and the media worked very differently back then. Competitive now and, um, and eventually, like a chain of other media's follow suit. And I had I think it was Good Morning America. CNN even n b a dot com featured it, which was daunting because people started talking about high dribble by the basketball. But I think I think it was after that that I had emails coming in asking me, Hey, do you want to talk about your artwork at this conference? And hey, do you consider creating a peaceful our office and Um and I think at the moment at that time I waas I was Of course, I think I felt very grateful for the response, but I was scared because I didn't know how much to quote and and even how to talk to a client. So the first ever phone call that came in was a company from the States Coffee coffee Company wrote. Mentioned who? They said, Okay, we we want to talk to you about commissioning a piece for office. Can we call you? And I remember this was 6 p.m. In my office after work, and I was kind of like crouching like under my disk, Not under, but like, like, kind of going like that when phone call came and I was just sound really confident, just sound confident. And then, um, they said, You know, we want, like, a two meter long piece made of coffee cup stains. How much would it be? And in my mind, I thought, maybe 1000. Is that too much? And I said, 800 and they were like, Okay, sure, we will think about it and give you a cold buck, and I never got a response from them. I have never got a reply. And, um and I think I was like, was it because I was too cheap? Was it because it was too expensive? So there were all these thoughts, And if I could go back and talk to that me back, then out Go. No, I would handle it totally differently. I would have ask the client what? It was full, um, and the timeline for it. And I guess even throw the ball back and ask what's a budget for it? So So that in terms of pricing, I'll cover a little bit later down in one of my videos. Spiller. So six months into creating my art pieces, I was still at the architecture phone and I had to bigger commissions that asked if they could commission me for project. And at that point, I thought, Whoa, Okay, this is this is a little bit tempting, but I have no idea if I wanted to do this or not. And at the time by the bus of the company that I was working for, His name is Peter. Um, he reached out to me. He said, You can I can I Can I sit down with you to talk? I've noticed that you've been getting a bit of, ah, requests and a little bit of media coverage Should we talk? And that was the point where I thought that he would find me. So I sat down in the meeting room and I said, Peter, I'm so sorry. I I'm gonna like, you know, focus on on work, like work work in your phone. And he was like, know what I really wanted to talk to you about is, um I see something that and of you, my daughter I would encourage you to pursue it on. I was upfront with him. I said, I am just My worry is I might not be able to sustain this financially. Go moving forward. Is this just a rash thing that I'm just jumping into? I don't know what the future looks like, but Peter really gave me a safety net. And he said that you know what? Give it a try for six months. If it doesn't work out, you can come back. Teoh my office. So you have no excuses. Give it a try. And I think that was the thing that really gave me a safety net and really pushed me. If it wasn't for that, I don't know if I would have pursued it. Um, and I started to do that. And I think when I speak Teoh people who wanted to do it full time, maybe think of a safety net. I don't know if that's gonna, I think help you mentally because that helped me mentally a lot. Maybe look into doing it on the side like I did and see if it takes off and, um, and have a bit of savings to because I think then you can create freely for at least a couple of months. I gave myself six months of savings and two projects at hand that would sustain me for at least a couple more months. You're gonna also have to ask yourself why you want to do it. It really has to be for the love of pot. If you're going into it, money just go into finance or something like that. You have to love what you do, because that's going to sustain you during hot days. And there will be hot days. You have to really, really love what you do. But at the same time, I have to say that when you when this turns into a full time job, it becomes work for you. So it's important when you turn it into a full time job that you find fun and joy and playfulness out of it because it can also tow Go back Teoh feeling like a 9 to 5. So you have to protect it and that ways to do that for me, it's about having structure in place. So going 9 to 5 is work my client, what commission work. And then after that, I'm free to do anything I want to do. So I guess my advice for you is this that you work on odd on the side. First, build up a portfolio and, um, and send it out. Maybe Teoh potential clients. Teoh agencies, maybe even have a social media account on Instagram, especially because that's almost like a portfolio for artists. Now I feel and put it up there and see if you get if you get a response or if you get requests and even mentioned that you're open for commissions and see how that goes. I think start small at the start and and, um, and see how that goes for you for at least a couple of months. I do know at the same time I do know people who dove into full time Ott at the same time. Um, I have a friend who went into, I think, being a common comic artists right away after he quit his job and just worked on just producing book every day. And he's doing very well right now, too. But that's that's what I wanted to touch. On the second video, which is work, work, work, it's all about work. 3. Make Art. Work, Work, Work.: all right. Once you get into art full time, it's really about working, just working on your That's the priority for you. I think there are many days where I reflect on what I've done for the day, and a lot of it goes to admin. A lot of it goes to answering emails, social media, but ultimately your job is to create work, and I do fall into the trap of not doing that sometimes. And I think that's maybe a full of procrastination. I That's something that I am still working on. Last year I said aside a whole year to really work on one personal project, and it was a, uh, a series of 10 pieces made of Victuals. It's this series that I set aside just just focusing on that. So So I think once you get into art, prioritize work. There's this quote by Chuck Close that well would always inspired me. And it goes. Inspiration is well, damages professional's professional artists. They get to work, and I think setting structure for me helps very much. I go 9 to 5. I have to be in the studio producing book, and once you have that mindset. And once you have things like deadlines that you set for yourself, it is easier. Teoh deliver. It is easier Teoh not be tempted and swayed by that light bulb inspiration, although that's really important to. But sometimes you just need to produce things. And that's how I push myself to have a deadline in place and sometimes to even have boundaries. I find that boundaries help a lot. Just giving went myself limited supplies of, say, chopsticks only chopsticks or only eggshells, for example. And I come up with, I would come up with something eventually. I wanted to talk about how I want to quit my job as an architect. I went into odd full time. I think I just felt the pressure off, making it look like a sudden weight. When I was working full time, it was, Oh, you know, this is for fun. This is a hobby. I'm just gonna do stuff and not worry about what people think. But once I got into a full time, there was pressure. So I think it does that, I guess, tightrope that that you have to be careful about as much as as I wanted things to be perfect. Sometimes it's not really about things being perfect. Sometimes it's really about completing the odd piece on about the artwork being good enough , because sometimes perfection can be an enemy of creativity. One of my art pieces, I think it was the only son Suki portrait took me almost six months in planning. I think just portrait after portrait. Every time I put it out there, I got so sucked into social media likes, which is dangerous. Don't be sucked into legs. It's I guess social media is important isn't important tool for you to market your work, but it does not. I guess that thing that tells you if it's if your work is good and not to. It's really about how your packaged your work and put it out there. So so for my own sans Souci piece, I took six months off, really researching how I guess some capillary action works. How whether I should cut the stems of my flowers at a certain angle with temperature of the water. I was just so into engrossed in making this piece perfect and six months later put it up online. It took me that amount of time because I spent so much time wondering if it was good enough a lot, um had a lot of doubts meant in my head about the concept about the message about how I would just even, uh, pick my colors and things like that just over thought just went into overthinking overdrive . So don't I think some some projects do require a lot of research and planning? I'm not denying that. And there is that is value in that. But sometimes they can be overthinking as well. And that was definitely it for me. After I put it up online, I just I felt like I just don't like I wasn't did not enjoy that process because of all the pressure that I put on myself. And after that, I stepped back and I thought, OK, you know what? I got into this because I want it. I wanted to have fun with my work. I wanted to really express how used materials, so I gave myself a fun project. It was Cole, 30 days off, food Ott, and it was launched in in in March, sometime in 2014 2013 I think, and the challenge was that every day on the piece of plate, I had to create an artwork with food with food materials and just put it up online every single day. Even if I did not like what I did. So that was it. I started Teoh, you know, Scramble, because by 5 p.m. I had to make a piece by five. Pm because that was I mean, I had to shoot with natural light. And so that was just no choice. I'd really just, like, squeeze myself into into this corner inside it to create. And eventually, um, I realized I could do it like day three. Day 45. We're okay. I had still at ideas Day six. I was like, Oh, my God, I'm running out of ideas. But eventually that came because, um, I really, really kind of set myself down to work to experiment. As you can see in these photos. Why? What became one wall I guys detailed on intricate and And I found it easier to work with these materials because I was more familiar with tools and was with what to come. And I learned that creativity really is like a muscle. The more you work on it that easy it gets, the stronger your muscle muscle was developed to. So I think if I could advice you on something right now, like, as an assignment, maybe give you solve 10 days, for example, or two weeks or even a month. Like what I did off creating an artwork every day. Give yourself the minute tools. It could be just a paper with, um, a paintbrush in the shade of red, for example. Um, and just put it up online and give yourself a being. You never know where it might bring you on. Your work will develop as you go. And I encourage you. Teoh Teoh, Compared what day? One and day? Day 30. Looks like you Right now. We're going through quarantine and it has not been easy. Has not been easy, I think mentally And also I think there's so much anxiety about about what's gonna go on for the next six months. How is this going to change the Ott industry? So this has been a an exercise for me. Teoh, remember, toe work, work, work. No matter what, I came up with a series called I am Not a virus, and that was in response to racism towards Asians during the against the pandemic. Um, and I think I just wanted to create something that brought awareness. Thio thio this issue on and it's an issue that's close to my heart because, I mean, it's it's it's just worrying for us and Asian community that I'm close to. That I am in ism is talking about it a lot. And so what I did was I just turned to whatever I have at home right now to see them, you know, just food items, even cake Sprinkles. And I turned them into Portrait's, a series of 10 pieces of, um, victims of physical assault and also voices that have stepped out to talk about, um um, anti racism against Asians and and I put it out there and and I had some media that covered that, surprisingly covered my work and there was quite a bit of response to it. It was a lot of reaches, and that was conversations that went on. And I think that is the power of work, that Ott that it can touch people in a way that no numbers or data can and that it brings awareness that brings conversations. So if you're going through anything right now, make Ott out of it. And you could even consider making a series out of it like I have. There's this quote by Ortho Neil Gaiman that really incised me. I think every time I need I guess that inspiration of Push Um it really inspires me Whenever I read this quote about creating work every time, any time and this is how it goes. Life is sometimes hot. Things go wrong in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that live can go wrong. And when things get tough this is what you should do when things get tough. This is what you should do. Make good. Ott. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician, make good odds let crushed and then easing by mutated boa constrictor. Make good odds. I r s on your trail. Make good odds. Can't exploded. Make good odds. Someone on the Internet thinks what you're doing is stupid or evil or it's all been done before. Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow eventually time will take the sting away And that doesn't even matter. Do what only you can do best. Make good, make it on the bad days. Make it on the good days too. 4. How to Market Your Art: traditionally plot ists. How honest would mock it. There are is through galleries. Andi, I think when I was in when I was an architect, a student, one of my final projects was Teoh Create. I am an artist studio to build, to design an artist studio, and I had to go out to meet real artists working who were working full time. And I was in Melbourne at the time. I met a couple of Melvin artists and I asked them, I had no idea what the odd industry was like. So awesome. You know, how do you how do you how do you get clients? And they said, Oh, it's it's the galleries. It's up to the galleries. Really, if they want to represent its So I said, Oh, what what does that mean? So they said that, you know, they had to get to know the galleries. And if the galleries like what they do, if they I felt like they could work together, if the odd, I guess if their artwork kind of kind of is in sync with what the gallery was looking for them, they would invest in the oddest and exhibit the oddest market. It Teoh their clientele. So that made me think, Whoa. So you have to go through that gate Keeper and galleries are important in the Ott world. But I also felt at the time that you know, maybe what if there was more to that? And and now you have it with social media. Social media gives you the platform, Teoh. Really? Um, brand yourself and think about ways you want to market yourself. I know a handful of good friends who are full time artists now have really launched themselves through social media, curated their own work on Instagram on DeMeo, even and fun, and found their clientele through that. But I also have oddest friends who worked very closely with the galler industry. So think about how you want to go about it. There's no right or wrong as well. So I think in this section I wanted to talk about how I stop it, and that was really through social media. This was back in 2012. I uploaded the Yellow Ming basketball video onto YouTube at the time and it got circulated around quite a bit. And that was when I started to get media coverage and enquiries, full, full art projects and now I barely use you to at all. I just find that Instagram works better for me. Facebook works better for me. All of these channels play a different role. It's important for you to figure out what what works for you, but I like instagram because it's it's Ah, it's a visual pat platform and everyone, even the galleries on it right now, um, institutions on it. So everyone kinda is looking out like looking at each other on Instagram, and it's a great way to get to know other creatives and even potential collectors who might eventually by a look. So do look at Instagram. That's my that's that's That's my advice. Think about how you want to present yourself. Think about I guess how you how you want to create your your page even and even think about things like your user name or think about what you're artist name is gonna be. So my name is Hong, but I came up with Red because I think I felt that at the time when I go to Hong you, there was a lot of honkies came on. Guy wanted a little bit of, ah, something that people could remember. And I had a friend, the same person who shot my Yow Ming video. He called me rid like it was like a funny kind of a joke because my surname home sounds like the color rid in Chinese. And I went OK, maybe I could go Red pony. That's a little bit funny, because everyone's gonna go home. Your names red like the color. Um, And it stuck, Um, and that became my oddest name. So maybe you could think about an honest name. It could be It would be something that would would help could help with your branding to. So have a think about that. A lot of street artists have street artists name and, um and yeah, just do a bit of a ghoul such look up your favorite artists and see how they've gone about that. So other than instagram, um, I think it's very important to have a website because that gives you credibility. Update your website. Put your best works forward, select. What's that? You want clients to see that you won't collect us to see? I wanted to note that whatever you put out. That would be why clients would look for you. Is I had put out, I think, um, artworks made of, let's say, um, Clay, for example, clients who want that kind of play out. We look for me, so I put out a sudden language. I have, ah, distinct style in in my odd, and that's really to use ordinary items like eggshells, like beans like Chop steaks and and And I Multiply that in volume. And there you I started out with Portrait, so I started off having a lot of requests for Portrait's. Eventually I viewed off into installations and all I would say, most of my clients come to me and go, Hey, we want this piece because we saw that. Can you create something similar? So what you put out that is what you would get also in return. It's kind of like fishing to me. Every time I put something out there, that type of fish goes back. Eso maybe think about it that way. Who would put put the kind of work that you want to work on in your website, and these days it's so easy to build a website I was very. I guess when I started going full time, I was very, very no, that's about building a website and oh my gosh, you know that quoting and had no idea how would press what? But now this square space It's so easy you don't need to know any coating of all. It's really like drag and drop Wicks is really easy to and the tons of other websites. And they all look, um, really nice and sleek. They can look license week, depending on how you want to design it. So have a tinker around and put your website out That so after you have your your website or a pdf put full, you eat even you can send it out to to media you send it out to agencies, send it out to even magazines and go, Hey, this is my work. If you ever looking for an artist to an illustrator graphic designer, this is really just a broad sense of Ott. This video. Really? Um, yeah, just send it to them and go hate if you're interested, you know this is my work. Contact me. There's no harm just sending your work. Teoh Potential clients and the other thing is galleries. So if you want it to go through with the gallery route, I probably am not the best person to give you advice on this because I'm not actually worked with a gallery yet. I know gallerist. So I know friends who have who are working with galleries. So I'm just speaking. From what I know from one of hut galleries, the role of gallery is really to sell your work, and they have their own clientele. They have their own, I guess, the type of artists that they're looking forward to. And, um, the galleries I know and the artist that I know that work with galleries really work very hot there, like business partners when you could decide to work together. You're in this business together, and I hear that the commission is usually 50 50 50 for the gallery, 50 for the artist, and I just do a lot of background research on the gallery scene. Yeah, you like working with them or not. I know that galleries put in a lot of effort and work into, um and money into into the artists in promoting them in setting up exhibitions things like that. So So do your background research Seen you like working with them or not? It's It's Ah, it's a two way thing. 5. Selling and Pricing Art: pricing odd can be tricky. Everyone asks me. So how much is you up at work? How much does it cost? I'm not gonna tell you because everyone has their ways to price their work. But I will tell you, I guess how how Generally think about pricing and how I go about setting a particular price . Depending one, I guess. My timeline. The materials. I use etcetera. So pricing is tricky because, really, with that, you can price it at any price and invisible ia Great. If you can sell a banana stuck T'wolves $120,000 that's amazing. I mean, it's that's That's the That's a beauty and ought It can really be anything It It's really about perception. It's really about how how you want to market and package in them. And brand that. That said an op piece. So that's that's fascinating to me, but they all said and guidelines to it as well. It's not free fall all the time as well. In one of my earlier videos, I mentioned how coffee company from states quote me up and said that Oh, we saw your your portrait made of coffee cup stains of Jay Chow and we really like that. And can we call you on? Can we commission you for peace? So that was That was my my, I guess my foray into pricing. What really introduction one No one in surprising. And I had really no idea. I think I've bombed. I just went with the number in my head, and it was a really low number, and they never called me back. And I'm so glad they didn't call me back because I think I would feel a little bit silly. And what I should have done that is, I should have done a little bit of homework. I should have cold people, at least who are in some sort of creative industry. I had no idea. I just went for it so that I could go back. I would call a couple friends in who are illustrators. I didn't know anyone any fine oddest at all at the time, so I had a friend who was who is who was in the media industry, and, um and I called him up and asked, how should a price It and I spoke to some other friends. My colleagues also How should I price this? And they're my seniors. And they gave me some advice. And if I could go back to my same self, I would go Look, how long are you going to spend on this? What's the timeline for it? If it's one month off, full time work 95 for one week. A straightforward method is to give yourself a value every hour. Say, say, maybe media fee is $20 per hour. You know, multiply that by how many hours you're gonna work in a week. And and that would be how much your work would be. A straightforward ways to calculate pricing would be to think about how long you're gonna work on the artwork. So I would go time plus expenses plus materials and maybe deadline. So these are four things you have to look at with time. I think about how much you'll fees up our if you will say $20 power $50. Power multiplied by how many days how many hours you're gonna work on if you're gonna work on it for I don't know, 20 hours. I guess each hour your $20 so many times 20 and then what materials are you gonna use? So for me, I I used a lot of material materials in bulk. Sometimes it's 20,000 chopsticks. If each chopstick is 50 cents, that gives me the math of how much I'm gonna spend spend on expenses and I'll let the client know. And the other thing is labor. Do you need assistance for it? Do you need carpenters? Thio, Thio Build a frame for you? Where? Peace. Think about that, too. Well, my Jackie Chan Peace with chopsticks ins It was 20,000 chopsticks with at least 20,000 scorers. I had a lot of steel cables and a steel frame and I hot 30 People work on it with me for two weeks straight. So that's all money. You have to factor that in. And also on top of that, add up what you think you should be paid. So you could go with a straightforward way of amusing. You'll I guess you Ali right times Help me out was spending it. But of course, that's just a general guideline sometimes Ott. I mean, you see artworks that can be done really quickly that is with and a certain amount And that's also because that oddest has probably built up a strong CV that artist has probably presented at important institutions. Um, at said, an outfit is at sudden US art festivals and galleries, and they've had said solo exhibitions. So the more you build up your credentials, your CV, the more the higher you can command in price as well. And it really depends on on other factors, like even the gallery. Who is representing you? If you know any artists as well. If you know any illustrators, anyone in the creative industry, maybe it would it would. It would probably make sense. Teoh Approach them if you're comfortable enough and asked them, How do I price my work, or how much is shit should? How much should this illustration be for this magazine? Um, I think it's it's good to have a support team of artists who you can talk to about about about work, about creativity, about work on it's OK to ask if you're comfortable enough. At the same time, I think if you were working on a lot of commercial projects with, say, agencies and commercial clients, sometimes you could also ask your clients other than telling them your fees. You could turn it the other way around and go. What's your budget for this and work within that budget? If that client goes, we have $10,000 for for this project. If you are is a little bit more than that, I think it's up to you. You could probably work on a scope. That's that is $10,000 to you. I think it's important. Teoh be flexible. When, when? When you were creative. I think there's some projects you want to take up, even if it doesn't pay well, They could be other things that you want out of it, like the relationship with a client or the agency. Or even, I guess maybe it would look good on your CV, for example, So beauty be be flexible with that. But to be assertive, too, because there have been a lot of I guess agencies and clients that come up to me going. Oh, we really like you work but can't pay and we can pay you an exposure That's that's not cool . That's really not nice, especially if they are commercial plant and if business So I would say be flexible but be assertive 6. Working with People: in this part of my skill share class, I'd like to talk about working with people, namely clients assistance on managers. So if you go into art full time, you're gonna work with with one or some all of these different parties with clients. What have lent is that you should be nice to them and respectful unless they are really not nice and disrespectful. I think I have to remember all time that when it's someone comes up to me and they want my work, it's such an honor. They see the value in my work. They like my work. They like what I put out there, and that is awesome. That's incredible. So I think my advice is to firstly be thankful and see what I see. How you guys can work together, understand where they're coming from. If I had one example to give what I could have done better, it would be a client. What if some time ago and and when I was still working in China, there was this client came up to me and they were like, You know, we really like you work, but we can't come for that much. Can we have this work for this. Prices did. And I thought at this time I thought they were taking taking advantage of me, and I was not happy about that. And I think I showed my displeasure and and I burned a bridge from that. And I think I think if I could go back, I would not have done it that way. I would have being a little bit more flexible. I would have asked them what they wanted, what they wanted and probably met them halfway. So I think unless the clients really nasty, try to work with them and see how you can work together and try toe against maintain that relationship. I think that's really important. And when it comes to when it comes to payment, usually I go. If you really want me to do this, I will give you 22 proposals. Um, you know, proposal one into will be quite different. I'll work on two different strategies and pick one, and if you really happy with it, let's go down with, um, al payment. So how my payment works is a deposit of either 50%. Usually it's 50 50 or 30 40 30 So if it's a smaller project, I go 50% upon agreeing and then often delivering, it's another 50% full payment. And if it's a big project out, go 30% upon agreement and 40% in the interim and 30% upon delivery of the artwork. I guess a lot of artists work very differently, and I'm open to hear how other artists, or even how you have worked on payment and your thoughts behind it. There's no there's no right way to do it. And today I'm flexible, and I do Do you want to, I guess continue learning. Even when it comes to business. When it comes to assistance, I guess one. See Gloria business. Eventually, you're gonna find that, Hey, it would be awesome if I could have helped in certain areas. Maybe it is that you need help in admin like a personal assistant, because after a while I found that I was just overwhelmed with things like e mails, even even reaching up to media. Sometimes even social media was a little bit, uh, you know, I I felt like that was just so much work, and that was not focusing on my hot. It's very important to go back, Teoh what your role is and that is to make hot. So you're gonna need assistance. And sometimes, like for some of my projects, they really bake. And this this thing here took me. I think if I had to work in it by myself, one of the pieces took me about 23 weeks by myself, and I'm going to do 10 pieces. It's gonna take me almost a year. But I rallied a team around me and I have assistants working on this with me, and that has reduced the time by a lot. So I think I think it's perfectly fine to get assistance, come in and help you my assistance of freelance artists as well. I like working that way because it gives them the freedom to work on their own projects as well. It's not. I don't pay them a salary and pay them a project basis. Every time I have a project, I go, Hey, so there's five people that I reached out to, you know? Hey, are you guys free to work on this project? This is the amount of time that I have here and this is that this is the feet. This is the budget that I can spend on pain. You guys, you guys up for it, Andi, Some of them jumping forward. So that's how I work with assistance and and general rule applies. Be nice. You Elita. You leading a team you're leading a team to. It's a vision that you have at and they're hoping you make this vision happen. That's also so try toe work together, be nice and enjoy the process together. The other party that you might work with is a manager or a gallery. So I've not worked with a gallery yet, so I won't touch on that. But I have worked with manages. I do have people who helped me negotiate for projects. So if a purge it comes in, I looked in my manage and ago. Hey, I will take care of the creatives, but my manager would speak to you about numbers, and I think I like working that way. I know artists who manage everything themselves, but I prefer having someone else talk about numbers because I don't really want to think about that. So I just had done with my manager and we we agree on a commission. Um, it's really up to you what you want to agree on, but make that very clear, have a contract in place. Make it clear of your commission is often before expenses even. And I think it's important also to to to know if that manager is a suitable person to be your voice, because that present is gonna be the person who's kind of representing you. So So pick a manager. Kathy Lee. It has to be someone you trust with money. Money issues. Two. When the money comes in, where does it go to them to Does it all go to the manager? You make sure everything is clear in the contract. So I've worked with friends as manages. I've worked with an ex, an ex colleague in my architecture firm. She was my manager in China and have family friends who worked with me as well. And now I'm working with a professional odd consultant as my manager, so it really ranges. It depends on who you can trust and who has that business acumen. Teoh represent you 7. Closing Thoughts: being an artist is very much like being a business owner. You're running your urn show, and it can be daunting. You should have a bit of appetite for risk because there would would be good days. And there would be not so good days that it might be, you know, even weeks and months of nothing. And right now the world's going through quarantine. This video was shot in May of 2020 and it's been, I think it's been mentally challenging because it feels like we don't know what's going on the next couple of months of the whole year. What's gonna happen to the auto industry with exhibitions with commissions and things like that? So I think to be an honest you do have to manage that anxiety and and know how to. I guess pushing doubts infuse away. But the great thing about it is that you can make out any time. You don't have to wait for the client, Teoh say, Hey, we want this from you know where is the was the product When you got a manufacturer, you can make out any time, no matter what your going through. Right now, you can make Ott collect your own work and put it there. The other thing that's really important as an artist is to have support groups. I can't stress that enough. And I'm so thankful that I have people I can go to know they can be individuals who are in the creative field, even individuals who are, um, who are business owners. They don't have to be artists, but I do have audit support groups. I have a support group of three females, including me, and we talk every day almost on a what's up group. That has been such a blessing because I think every time I have questions or you know, things, ideas, I wanna bounce off people. I turned to them I There's also a monthly support group that are recently joined, and I was invited to join through a friend of mine. There's about seven or eight of us, and it zoomed. Group that where we jump on and we go one round asking everyone, um and sharing, Uh, the three questions. What's your high of the month? What's your little with month on? Um, what question do you have for the group on and and I love that it's been. It's been amazing to join and to be able to if you like. Hey, you guys are going through what I'm going in them and so relatable what we're all going for And the other group support group that I have is a community of 30 artists, and I found them through a community project that that me and a friend started last two years ago. And it was a just a volunteer project in the city that we wanted to work on. And 30 artists responded, and we became friends in the person's on. That's being that's being a great form off support for me, too. And I think lastly, my advice is to figure things out as you go I Seven years ago, when I started this, I had no idea what I was doing. As you can tell in the last couple of videos, at no idea how pricing, how galleries, how commissions, how even negotiating with clients looked and I failed a lot. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned a lot in the persists as well. So one of my biggest insecurities as I when I started up was that I had no odd background. I did architecture and I felt like an outsider. I felt like I was a fraud, But I looking back, I don't think you need a not degree to be an artist. Sometimes the outside a side of you could be your greatest strength. If you are from a science background may be used that that signs background and turn it into into Ott, using background in anything. Your story. What you've bean through things I have broken your hot things that you're celebrating and turned that into odd. I think why I'm doing what I'm doing today in this kind of style and languages because of my background in architecture, I use materials. I play around with structure. I look at how how an installation can be site specific because of my background in architecture. So use your your skills of background. You'll even your outside of knowledge to your advantage. And lastly, I hope that after you known a little bit about my journey and off Teoh watching all these videos that, uh, that you will realize that if I can do this, so can you for sure